Arizona Cardinals Still Excited About Ryan Williams
It’s been two years of injuries and disappointment, yet the Arizona Cardinals just can’t rid themselves of the love they have for running back Ryan Williams. In fact, according to the Cardinals team blog, Arizona is still very high on his prospects, and that includes new head coach, Bruce Arians.
“Ryan (Williams) has to stay healthy,” said Bruce Arians. “I actually ran the (Virginia Tech) Pro Day there when all those guys came out and he was a fantastic athlete. He has to get healthy and we’ll see how he fits. But as a running back, he’s got what it takes.”
Arians isn’t noticing or saying anything that is all that surprising. Williams was a freak coming out of Virginia Tech, and had it not been for a devastating knee injury before he ever played a snap in a regular season game in his rookie year, we might have seen that. Unfortunately, we had to wait until 2012 to see him play, and for the majority of the season we saw a lesser version of himself.
The good news is that despite hitting injured reserve two seasons in a row, Williams missed the second half of the 2012 season due to a shoulder injury. That means is damaged knee is well beyond 100%, and the Cardinals have reason to get excited about the investment they made two years ago.
Arizona hasn’t been quiet about their goals with Williams, either, noting that he has the complete package and that he has the skill-set to be a “three-down back”. Current starter Chris “Beanie” Wells may not like the sound of that, but due to his own inability to stay healthy, that may not matter.
Wells figures to still be the top back come 2013, but at least Arizona hasn’t given up on Williams just yet.
We could talk about Williams’ talent all day. He’s a very gifted, fluid runner who has an exciting mixture of size, power and speed. However, as Arians and everyone else has pointed out – dude can’t stay healthy. He’s one of the more determined players in existence, though, so you can bet he’ll be pressing hard to be better and healthier this year. That doesn’t mean he’s a lock for any real fantasy value, but it absolutely means he’s once again a sleeper that needs to be monitored all off-season.